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Legislation

Prime-time gambling ads would be banned in Victoria under proposal by Labor-led inquiry

Tuesday 28 de November 2023 / 12:00

2 minutos de lectura

(Victoria).- The Victorian Labor government is being urged to ban gambling advertising in public places and during television prime time by some of its own MPs, in an effort to reduce the “increasingly pervasive” nature of sports betting ads.

Prime-time gambling ads would be banned in Victoria under proposal by Labor-led inquiry

The Labor-chaired public accounts and estimates committee on Tuesday tabled a report into gaming and liquor regulation, which also recommended the government “urge” its federal counterpart to implement a national advertising ban.

The Labor-chaired public accounts and estimates committee on Tuesday tabled a report into gaming and liquor regulation, which also recommended the government “urge” its federal counterpart to implement a national advertising ban.

At the same time, the inquiry said gambling advertising was “becoming increasingly pervasive”.

Related: ‘Playing us for years’: how pokies profits have funded tax-deductible spending within Australian clubs

It cited a study commissioned by the Australian Communications and Media Authority, which found an average of 948 gambling ads were broadcast daily on free-to-air TV in Victoria, including 148 between 6pm and 8.30pm every weeknight.

The inquiry recommended the Victorian government consider banning gambling advertising in areas that come under state jurisdiction, including in public places, as well as a “stricter rules on primetime gambling advertising” similar to those introduced in South Australia.

“More appropriate regulations and safeguards are needed to protect Victorians, especially our children and young people,” the committee chair, Sarah Connolly, said.

Since 2013, South Australia has prohibited gambling advertising on television between 4pm and 7.30pm from Monday to Friday, including the display of betting odds during live sporting broadcasts.

The committee’s recommendations come five months after a federal parliamentary inquiry also called for a ban on online gambling ads, to be phased in over three years.

Chaired by Labor MP Peta Murphy, the inquiry found the ads were “grooming children and young people to gamble and encourages riskier behaviour”.

The federal communications minister, Michelle Rowland, last week told the National Press Club no decisions had been made following the recommendation.

As previously reported by Guardian Australia, the Victorian inquiry also recommended an overhaul of the so-called “community benefit” scheme for pokies venues.

The scheme allows gaming machine revenue to be taxed at a lower rate, provided 8.33% of gambling revenue was invested back into the community. To claim the subsidy, venues are required to lodge a statement that shows how they are benefiting the community, either directly or indirectly.

But the statements show the money has largely been reinvested into the clubs’ own operating costs and upgrades, rather than going to charities.

The inquiry called on the government to “review the purpose of the community benefits arrangements and what percentage of gaming revenue is being redirected into the community, as opposed to being spent on operational expenses and expenditure aimed at increasing clientele”.

It also suggested possibly replacing the scheme with a “publicly managed fund targeted towards reducing and preventing gambling harm”.

In a statement, a Victorian government spokesperson thanked the inquiry for its work and said it would respond to the report in due course.

“We know that for most people, gambling is a legitimate recreational activity – but for a growing number of Victorians, it’s something much more harmful,” the spokesperson said.

“That’s why we’ve announced the strongest gambling harm protections in Australia, with the first of these reforms passing parliament earlier this month.”

The spokesperson said the government has already banned static betting advertising within 150m of schools, on public transport and on or above roads.

 

Categoría:Legislation

Tags: Sin tags

País: Australia

Región: Oceania

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